By Lisa Walton
Twenty-four MSU Denver student-athletes have received Academic Achievement Awards from the Division II Athletic Directors Association (D2ADA) for the 2011-12 school year.
To be eligible for the award, student-athletes are required to have been be an active member of their sports team during the past year, have a cumulative grade point average of 3.5 and have completed at least two years of college coursework.
MSU Denver was one of three schools in the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference to have students honored with the award. The list of MSU Denver student-athletes is available here.
“They get recognition for all their hard work because it’s difficult to balance what they do with the sports, with the amount of time it takes,” says Athletics Director Joan McDermott. “It’s good for the Athletics Department and it’s good for the community to know that our athletes are students first and athletes second.”
More than 100 MSU Denver students have received the award since it became available five years ago for the 2007-08 school year.
McDermott says President Stephen Jordan and the Athletics Department stress that students maintain a balance between sports and academics.
“We highly encourage students to take 15 credit hours,” McDermott says.
MSU Denver sponsors 15 sports in the NCAA Division II program. The 200 or so students who participate had an average GPA of 3.1 last year, says Sports Information Director Andy Schlichting. McDermott adds that the competitive nature of student-athletes is something that easily translates into academics, with teams competing for the highest GPAs.
To help student-athletes maintain good grades, coaches build regular study-hall time into team schedules and have study halls during the long bus rides to competitions, McDermott says.
In addition to the D2ADA Academic Awards, student-athletes with a GPA of 3.5 or higher are eligible for the University’s Athletic Director’s Honor Roll. Schlichting says 63 students made the honor roll last fall, and 55 made it in the spring—an average of roughly 30 percent of student-athletes for each semester.
Top of Page